Galloway Motel Named in Price Gouging Lawsuit -

Galloway Motel Named in Price Gouging Lawsuit

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A local motel is accused of price gouging during Hurricane Sandy.

The state's Division of Consumer Affairs has named the A-1 motel on the White Horse Pike in the Cologne Section of Galloway Township in a price gouging lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the motel, owned by A. Classic Corporation raised it's rates excessively, charging more than one hundred and eight dollars a night during the state of emergency when it's highest pre-storm rate was 50 dollars a night.

The state also filed price gouging lawsuits against 6 other motels and 3 gas stations, all in northern New Jersey counties. 

The Attorney General's office says first time offenders could face a civil penalty of ten thousand dollars.

While the A-1 may have raised its rates, a few miles away at the Galloway Ramada, management kept its rates the same to accommodate victims of Sandy.

"Customers have told me that a lot of the other hotels prices were significantly higher than ours and we just felt that because of how much problems everybody was having that we didn't want to raise our rates and keep our normal weekday rates that we had," said Manager of the Galloway Ramada Himansu Patel.

Management at the Ramada was aware of price gouging laws and even said state officials stopped by to check on them.

Some other motel managers on the White Horse Pike sided with the A-1 motel citing the need for motels to make money in a difficult economy ... a claim Patel is against.

"I can understand the need for making money but at times of bad situations, you got to bond together and help people out," said Patel.

Despite the temptation of extra income, several White Horse Pike motels, including the Ramada, saw no need to further burden those hit by Sandy.

"You know its hard enough just to make ends meet sometimes," said Patel.

"And to have these people forced out of their homes and charging them exceedingly more money to have them stay at the hotel I think is unfair to them."

The Governor, Attorney General and The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs will continue to investigate the claims.

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